Search allows anyone in need to find free and reduced cost social service programs in their area that can serve them. When you type in your ZIP code, or the ZIP code of someone you're helping, the search will return the programs that serve that area.
From there, you can browse by category, search by keyword, program name, or organization name, and filter results to find the most relevant programs to meet their needs.
You can sort results by distance or the most relevant results.
How it Works
To search for a program, follow these steps:
- From the homepage, enter your ZIP Code
- Use the category navigation bar or type in a keyword to find programs that match
- View the search results or use search filters to narrow your results
Keep reading to learn more about how each of these searches works.
ZIP Code Search
Entering your ZIP code begins your search by identifying all of the local, statewide, and national programs that provide services in that area.
To see where a program provides services, look at the program's “coverage area" in the description section of the program listing.
Category Search/ Service Tag Search
Once you've entered your ZIP code, you can browse for programs using the category navigation bar, and choosing a service subcategory.
When you choose a subcategory, you'll see a list of programs that have been categorized, or “tagged”, with that service as one of it's Main Services.
By default, programs in search results are sorted by relevance. Relevance boosts programs that may be more likely to help.
Programs are boosted higher in search results if they are Claimed, local, or serve anyone in need. Similarly, if programs are not currently available, programs will be moved down in search results as they are less likely to be able to help.
There are different levels of service tags. The broadest category is considered the “parent” or “first level”. Tags underneath that broad category are called “children” or “second level” or “third level” tags.
Example: Here is a hierarchy currently in our taxonomy:
Mental Health Care (Parent - Level 1)
Anger Management (Child - Level 2)
Bereavement (Child - Level 2)
Counseling (Child - Level 2)
When choosing a parent category, search results will contain programs with the tagged parent category as well as all programs tagged with the child categories listed below it. However, if you choose the child category, you will only see programs with the child tag.
Using the example above, if you searched for "Mental Health Care", you would see programs for Mental Health Care, as well as Anger Management, Bereavement, and Counseling.
If you chose "Anger Management", you would only see programs that have been tagged Anger Management.
This allows people looking for services to browse by a broader range of services, or dig in to a specific kind of service.
Instead of browsing by category, you may opt to type in a keyword, program name, or Organization name. Typeahead suggestions will appear based on program names, organization names, service tags, or serving tags.
Searching by an exact a service tag, or choosing it from typeahead will give the same results as if using the category bar. Similarly, if you search for a serving tag (personal attributes about whom a program serves), all programs in search results will have that serving tag. When searching by a serving tag, the same filter will be applied to the search results for that search and future searches.
By default, program results will again be sorted by relevance. To determine relevance with Keyword Searches, we first look to see how the search term matches information in the program listing. From there, we'll add in the other relevance factors to boost programs that are more likely to help, and lower programs that are less likely to help due to their availability.